Since the referendum vote in June 2016, the hospitality sector has faced an unprecedented period of uncertainty. There are new challenges to contend with such as rising costs. Approximately 71% of traders have already noted the impact that Brexit is having on their business. The changing cost of goods, business rates and exchange rates have created more difficult operating conditions and are curtailing profits. Nevertheless, although business operators are concerned about their customers, consumers are actually eating and drinking out-of-home more than they did before Brexit. In fact, 66% of 25-34-year olds eat out at least once a week.
However, it is important to note that serving excellent quality food and drink is no longer enough for consumers. You need to be delivering an experience, particularly for the selfie generation. 38% of 18-34-year olds have dined at a restaurant with the express purpose of sharing photos on social media. Consumers engage with brands in a different way, so you need to be able to cut through the noise and stand out from your competitors.
Between 2015 and 2017, the tea market grew by an impressive 13.6%; a sign that our cafe culture is showing no signs of slowing down and that operators should be looking for ways to add value to their business by improving their tea offering. In fact, coffee shops are predicted to outnumber pubs by 2030 and it’s not a huge surprise considering that 20% of people are drinking more tea than they were one year ago and 31.4m cups of tea are consumed out-of-home every day in the UK. The biggest opportunity comes from the 34% of people who drink tea at home but not out-of-home. These are valuable [potential] customers, just waiting to have their wants and needs met.
In recent years, consumers have become increasingly selective about their dietary choices, often opting for healthier beverages with natural and organic ingredients. Offering a range of fruit and herbal teas alongside your standard black tea is a great way to attract new customers and drive purchases. 49% of consumers who have seen new types of tea have tried a new brand in the last 12 months – so experimenting with flavours is key! It’s also time to get your foot in the door of offices, where tea is outperforming coffee. Perhaps a new offer to capitalise on tea breaks?
Top trending tea flavour searches in the UK: